The following is a poem I wrote while in an Intensive Outpatient Program. It was inspired by an activity in which we painted/drew/created our “life tree”. I took a spin on it and wrote a poem about the seasons of life.
Katie, this is dedicated to you.
You know how one night you go to sleep and the trees are green
Then, the next morning the trees are completely different.
Just like that.
Like they put on a mask while not one is looking
It kinda reminds me of myself
How one second I’m fine and then the next I’m torn apart.
My thoughts, moods, behaviors. Everything.
Also when I see the trees with their masks on, how they change
The seasons are like circumstances
The weather like the people surrounding you
How I change depending on these aspects
Some people simply don’t care whether its winter, spring, summer…
But others, its like their Chamber of Secrets opens and lets out the horrendous monster: their mind.
It’s a hurricane most only experience a drizzle of
“This monster of yours, what is it like?” you say…
It’s more like,“This monster of yours, that hovers over you constantly, beating you up, bossing you around, telling you what you can and can’t do, telling you you’ll never be good enough, what’s it like?”
But how would you know?
Every leaf: crimson, orange, gold. Falling into me, or the demon it seems
Every leaf that falls is a minuted wasted serving the monster
As we know, eventually, we’re bare
Wasted, ugly, just a dead, dry plant
And no one cares to mention how winter will come.
The ice-cold knives jab into my shivering skin
The icicles like swords through your back stabbing what little of me is left
The frigid breeze like the ghost of memories
The snow-flakes falling into me
No one cares to tell you how you’ll feel stuck, frozen in time
Just an object taking up space with no business doing so
No one cares
But through this brutal season there is always this frail little spark; often it flickers but it’s always there
Slowly it melts away the cold, broken emptiness
Slowly it grows stronger soon to be a flame
There is hope; just hold onto that spark
Don’t fret when it flickers, it is only a test of strength
It’s the dawn of a new season
A season of good, of rebirth, on new
The trees are renewed
bursting full of energy growing strong and full, able to nurture others
This is the real me, not my monster
The torturous, cold winter got me
It skinned me to me final layer
I wasn’t living, only surviving
I was barely holding on
But it cleansed me
Proved me stronger than the hurricane in my head
Than the lightning when the blade hits the skin
Than ‘too many calories’
Stronger than ‘not perfect, not enough, worthless, broken ,strained
But remember we’re strong and prosperous
Beautiful, unique, equipped for greatness
It does get better
In a season where it’s too good to be true
The summer breeze, so good that it slaps you back to reality
The new green leaves like fresh sunrise, like a safety blanket during the storm
The flowers like a gentle kiss of peace
Yes, seasons only last so long
And it’s sad, but true, your leaves will fall again
The blizzards of unwanted thoughts, depression, and hopelessness… They will come
But so will growth and strength
And that’s where I come in
We have to hold on to the spark
Seasons only last so long
And that’s the best part
Thank you for reading! If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, or can simply relate to anything in this poem please feel free to reach out to me by email; I would love to talk to you!